this is not my beautiful house

April 16, 2010

I wanted to write about how I don’t believe in silver linings, but once I started writing I realized I couldn’t explain it very well. And it’s not what’s on my mind right now anyway. The sun is shining. That’s what’s on my mind. There’s a bunch of blue sky right outside my window, along with a stretch of hills that would be called mountains in Indiana. And yeah, it’s stunning and everything, but I don’t want to be here right now. Not here as in sitting at my computer, but here as in the great northwest.  I want to be New York or Paris or both. I want to see the Lucian Freud at the Pompidu and check out the Whitney Biennial. I want to ride a subway. I want to look out a window and not see mountains, but an endless city view. I want to hear horns and traffic and people talking. I want to walk down the street and turn my head because some guy or gal is dressed to the fucking nines. I want to wave down a cab. I want to be stunned by humanity. Not overwhelmed by nature. Or the unending whiteness of inner Portland.

On the other hand, it was pretty cool playing blocks with Finley at her first birthday party. And I’m gonna grow vegetables this summer.

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somewhere out there

April 10, 2010

Our poet laureate is an intellectual butch dyke. How did I not know that?  It’s a selfish thing on my part to feel left out of the loop. I could have paid more attention to the news or to poetry. I could have been a better dyke, I suppose, and kept up. It’s just I can’t believe that there’s somebody like me out there in the world (not in the poet laureate sense – she’s a genius and I’m a fan), but in the butch and intellectual sense.

Imagine not seeing yourself reflected back to you in most of the things you want to do and most of the things that give you pleasure. That’s how I experience the world. It’s kinda like being a ghost. Hard to take up space. I don’t think most folks realize what it means to see themselves represented in the larger culture. It’s powerful on a subliminal level, but still powerful. So much so, it seems to just be taken for granted, at least until you go missing in the larger picture. But don’t get me started about what happens when you butt up against the ever present male gaze or the straight point of view or white hegemony. No one is up for that kind of rant, no matter how real the rub is.

I just don’t hardly ever see intellectual and creative butch dykes in the public eye or holding prestigious positions. I mean, wow! And even more amazing is that Kay Ryan is an open dyke – married her partner of 30 years in SF when Gavin opened the floodgates for that brief, wondrous time – but no one seems to call her a queer writer, thank god. Because there is nothing like those qualifying labels to marginalize your work and hem you in in a hurry.

I really am just a little blown away by the whole thing.

Here’s one of her poems, but definitely check other stuff too.

What’s the use
of something
as unstable
and diffuse as hope –
the almost-twin
of making-do,
the isotope
of going on:
what isn’t in
the envelope
just before
it isn’t:
the always tabled
righting of the present.

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